Have you ever tried teaching your children how to do something new and been entirely ignored by them? Do you recognize your child’s behaviour changing depending on what cartoons he/she is watching? Are you an elementary school teacher that needs to maintain control of your students’ classroom behaviour? Would you like to learn how to self-publish a book that you’ve been working on for a while?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this workshop is for you!
Using simple geometric shapes and focusing on the basic principles of storytelling, this workshop will show you how to write, illustrate, and publish a children’s eBook. Storytelling often attracts the attention of children, especially when accompanied by dynamic and vivid illustrations. It is therefore a positive way to convey messages and morals to them.
This theme was chosen in order to maintain the simplicity of the learning tasks and to allow participants to acquire the knowledge and skills to pursue self-publishing on a greater scale in the future.
Do your children ever listen to you? Publish your own children's eBook to shape and reinforce their values and behaviour! #Storytelling.
In an era dominated by technology, it is especially important to incorporate digital media into our educational system in order to take advantage of its potentially beneficial outcomes. Education is one of the most important contexts where technology should be rightfully applied due to its influence on children’s everyday lives. Creating digital eBooks to bridge the gap between the traditional and the contemporary, as children will be encouraged to read and learn while using technological tools like a computer or tablet.
b. Driving Questions
Why do you need to create a story for your child?
What are the steps of storytelling?
Why is it important to use illustrations for your story?
What kind of tools do you need to create a story for your child?
B. The Project
a. Project goals
Because we believe that storytelling has a powerful impact on children’s behaviours and their attitudes, our goal for this project is to teach learners the main elements of self-publishing. This begins with writing a story, and is complemented by the use of a simple software to illustrate characters. Finally, participants will be taught how to use an online publisher to upload and customize their books. Participants have the choice between publishing their books for sale or for personal use.
b. Project objectives/learning objectives
This workshop will allow learners to:
· Understand the importance of storytelling and its impact on children
· Recognize the main elements to create a story
· Write a short story and provide illustrations for its main characters
· Follow the time-frame suggested for each task
· Publish an eBook that is compatible with various digital platforms
c. Theoretical concepts
Although this workshop is about storytelling, it is only related to Lambert’s Digital Storytelling on a superficial scale, as the purpose of the workshop extends beyond self-expression with the intention to create change. By conveying values and modeling good behaviour to children, this workshop offers a “do-it-yourself” perspective that allows parents to regain control of some of their children’s learning.
Our targeted audience includes adults from the general population who are interested in writing short stories for children and publishing them as eBooks. Through the morals behind the stories, these eBooks will act as teaching tools help children understand the benefits and values of positive behaviors, as well as the consequences of negative actions.
e. Timeline, process, collaboration, and methods
During a series of meetings, we collaboratively designed the format of our workshop, beginning with a brief introduction of the main elements of writing a short story and ending with group activities and discussions. We envisioned our workshop as a hands-on participatory learning activity, and therefore decided to focus on helping the participants accomplish the objectives seamlessly and efficiently during the allocated time. We included memory aids and pre-scripted scenarios in order to keep the focus on writing and illustrating the story itself, and posted more helpful resources on our Wordpress website for participants who wish to revisit the material at home.
Simple illustrations and short story elements were taken into consideration for beginners.
Memory aids and resources were provided as a reference for the audience.
A pre-scripted scenario will be provided for each group where they can build their story elements on, and gain more time to illustrate their characters.
g. Media components
We will incorporate Keynote presentation software from Apple, as well an online publishing house: Lulu.com. These choices were made based on a checklist of requirements determining user friendliness, ease of use, accessibility, and affordability. We believe that Keynote is a simple tool to be used in illustrating characters for children’s stories. In addition, lulu.com is a free of charge publishing website for eBooks and personal viewing. However, participants who wish to extend their learning to print projects have the opportunity to do so using Lulu’s print-by-order format, which saves authors a significant amount of printing costs.
The limited time frame is challenging. Therefore, we created memory aids and resources that groups can refer to in order to manage their time and complete the tasks. In addition, as drawing characters may potentially be challenging, we provided scenarios so that most of the participants’ time may be devoted to illustration. Moreover, we chose Keynote because it provides easy-to-use geometric shapes that adults would be able to effectively use.
i. Workshop Schedule and Breakdown
1- Video (less than 2 minutes): we will project a promotional video discussing how important storytelling is for children, and encouraging people to join us for the workshop.
2- Presentation & overview of our workshop (15 minutes): We will discuss the agenda of the workshop and its objectives, then follow with a brief overview of elements of the story ( beginning, climax, and ending) and provide an example of each.
3- Teaching (15 minutes): This time will be used to show learners how to use Keynote and Lulu. Additional support will be provided during the activity.
4- Activity (45 minutes): Groups will create a story using predetermined scenarios. They will then illustrate the stories and customize the pages of their eBook. Finally, they will publish their own eBook on Lulu.com. For the purposes of this activity, the eBooks will be published privately. However, participants may refer to our Wordpress website for a step-by-step guide on how to publish an eBook for sale on Lulu.com.
5- Discussion (15 minutes): Participants will be granted time to ask follow-up questions and provide feedback.
The video will include illustrations that would be the characters included in the story. The illustrations will be done using Keynote. In addition, a short story will accompany the characters to introduce our audience to a simple example of what they could produce using the resources provided. The video will include appropriate background music.